Rochester native Sarah Baumgard recently has published her first children's book, "In the Mirror I Saw," in which she reminds children that they are perfect in every way and that everyone is beautiful in God's eyes.
The book is the story of a young girl and what she sees reflected in the mirror.
"It's an interactive book, and each page ends in a question to the reader on their features, and it reminds them how beautiful and perfect and individual they are even though, sometimes, they forget to remember it as they grow up," Baumgard said.
Inspiration for the book came from personal experience.
"When I was younger, I had some very hard times reading and wanted to be better, so although it wasn't physical, I still was self-conscious about it and just wanted to fit in," Baumgard said.
That experience is also what kickstarted her desire for the career she chose, as a special education teacher. It also helped her to publish her books.
"Because I'm a teacher, that first summer off was my first time ever having a summer off, so with that time -- I knew I had all these manuscripts from over the years -- I had the time to pursue things further, and started submitting manuscripts to publishers," she said. "I had tossed around the idea of self-publishing, so when I got the call to work with Take Publishing and Enterprises, I couldn't sleep for days! It was very surreal."
Baumgard partnered with a Rochester artist to illustrate her book.
"I was put in touch with Amy Liebl," she said. "Her 9-year-old daughter (Hannah) did the pictures, and Amy did the graphics for it. It's a great partnership that we have, plus it's great to have the local connection. Hannah is so young and is doing such great work, I'm very happy that we are working togther for upcoming projects as well."
Those include a second book, "Little Ladyin Red," a story of a ladybug born without spots and trying to figure out how to either fit in or feel confident as her unique and beautiful self. "We are all perfect as we are, and it doesn't matter how many spots we have," Baumgard said. "I just want to help children boost their self-esteem and sense of self-appreciation, in females, especially." The book is due out Jan. 19.
A third book is also in the works, and Sarah will be signing contracts for books 4 and 5 in the near future.
"When I was in school, at Gage Elementary, my first grade teacher asked us what we want to be when we grow up," Baumgard said. "I said I wanted to be an author, and that teacher said it's a possibility because I'm a strong writer, and that stuck with me. Well, here I am."
Her book is available in local bookstores, from online sellers, and from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.
What does the Fox say?
Mary McGuire, who joined the KXLT-TV (Fox 47) news team as an anchor in July, not only brings you the news, she masters local professions in her "Make Mary Master" feature, and brings you tips, tricks and "life hacks" with her new blog, "Pearls for Peanuts."
Mary grew up in Edina, earned her bachelor's degree from the College of Communications and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and got her master's degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013.
"I love being back home in Minnesota and am happy my passion for the news business has brought me back to my roots," she said.
Mary is always so perfectly put together anytime you see her, she secretly makes other women jealous (OK, maybe it's just me, but come on -- she is just so chic!).
When she's not on the hunt for a great story, lugging camera gear around the snowbanks of Rochester, you can find this girl hunting for bargains.
"No one loves a good bargain quite like me," McGuire said. "I'm a proud coupon-clipper and sale-rack shopper."
Each week in Pearls For Peanuts, Mary will share all sorts of secrets of living chic on the cheap.
You can catch Mary on the Fox 47 News at 9 and check out her blog at addins.myfox47.com/blogs/pearls.
Megan Kennedy is a longtime midday radio personality on KROC-FM. Seen & Heard highlights local people with interesting stories. Send tips to email@example.com.